This past Sunday Julie and I, for an alternative wedding anniversary (3 years) decided that we would ride the London to Brighton for the British Heart Foundation.
It was an amazing day, and thankfully, the months before hand we had been spinning 3 times a week and this definitely paid off.
I managed to plot the London to Brighton route on Google maps. It took me almost two hours to plot the damn thing, but it's fairly accurate.
We set out at 8:30am (getting past the start line around 8:45am). We hadn't slept too well that night because of ropey sleeping conditions and not being used to all the bloody police sirens going through Clapham. We may have even been able to start at 6:30!
We hit pretty serious congestion throughout our ride, it took us an hour to get to Mitcham, only 4 miles from our starting point.
Further down the route, we came to entire standstill and all you could see was helmet after helmet after helmet. It didn't turn out to be an accident (as we thought it might be) - it was just a tight bend where everyone was forced off their bikes to walk.
We took our first break at 12:30 at the half way mark for a rather nasty burger and set off again.
We rode pretty solidly for the rest of the journey taking one stop off for a quick bit of water, then a stop just before Ditchling Beacon to load up on Lucozade and bananas.
Julie made it to the top of the beacon, I broke off half over half way. The vast majority walked the beacon, so I guess I can be half proud :-)
We finally pulled in to Brighton around 4:15pm. A total of 7 1/2 hours to ride 54 miles. At the start they said it was an average 7 hour bike ride, but the delays that we encountered throughout the day must have had a big impact on that time. Julie had made the journey in 5 hours 4 years ago and said that she hadn't gone at much of a different pace to ours that day.
All in all, Julie and I raised almost £600 for British Heart Foundation, I hit a top speed of 35-40mph (peak) and we had a pretty amazing day.
Although my photography was limited to either when we stopped, or when we were going slow, I managed to take a fair few (I've linked a few to points on the route map too).
I managed to capture some video during the bike ride, when I didn't feel I needed my breaks too much(!), and I quickly concatenated them together with a bit of music that I remember listening too whilst bombing along.
I wrote a little widget to keep track of how much I had raised for BHF. It was based on the 2007 sponsor pages, but this year (2008) it still works. You just flip it over and enter your sponsorship page on the other side and it will tell you how much you've raised in total.